Your rights and responsibilities

Download the NHS Consitution (PDF)

Download the NHS Constitution (PDF, 106 kb) and get more information about your rights as an NHS patient.  

The NHS is there for us from the moment we are born. It takes care of us and our family members when we need it most.

The NHS Constitution has been created to protect the NHS and make sure it will always do the things it was set up to do in 1948 – to provide high-quality healthcare that’s free and for everyone.

No government can change the Constitution without the full involvement of staff, patients and the public. The Constitution is a promise that the NHS will always be there for you. 

What is the NHS Constitution?

For the first time in the history of the NHS, the constitution brings together in one place details of what staff, patients and the public can expect from the National Health Service. It also explains what you can do to help support the NHS, help it work effectively, and help ensure that its resources are used responsibly.

The Constitution sets out your rights as an NHS patient. These rights cover how patients access health services, the quality of care you’ll receive, the treatments and programmes available to you, confidentiality, information and your right to complain if things go wrong.

Rights and pledges

One of the primary aims of the Constitution is to set out clearly what patients, the public and staff can expect from the NHS and what the NHS expects from them in return.

 

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